Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Friday, August 26, 2016
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Links to stories concerning our region in other media:

The Wall Street Journal
In the Hudson River Valley, a Family Legacy in Riverfront Mansions

A small group of wealthy homeowners — hotelier André Balazs and artist Brice Marden among them — have restored the estates of the Livingston clan.

The New York Times
A Summer Day With Gregory Crewdson

The photographer takes us through his daily routine in Great Barrington, Mass.

The New York Times
How Meredith Rollins Spends Her Sundays

The Redbook editor-in-chief and White Hart Inn co-owner enjoys spending family time in Litchfield County.

The New York Times
Clark Art Institute Announces New Leader

Olivier Meslay, a longtime curator at the Dallas Museum of Art and before that at the Louvre, will take over in August.

Architectural Digest
A weekend in Hudson, New York

The magazine chooses eight must-visit spots, including Wm. Farmer and Sons, Finch, 3FortySeven and Hawkins New York.

The Washington Post
The Hudson Valley Strikes a Picture-perfect Balance

Now is the perfect time to take in our region’s outstanding art, culture, history and food.

The Wall Street Journal
The Art of the Dealer: Gallerist Jack Shainman

The Williamstown, Mass. native shares how he chooses art for his NYC and Kinderhook, NY galleries.

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A Couple Of Good Guys Doing Great Things For Hillsdale

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Ken Davis and Kevin Draves are a big part of the reason we love Hillsdale, New York. Their shop, Passiflora, and ice cream parlor, Village Scoop, are mandatory stops at the crossroads of Routes 22 and 23, smack dab between the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires. But aside from their beautifully curated store and delicious range of edible treats, the couple are also really interesting guys. RI’s Jamie Larson sat down with the pair to discuss their artistic work, world travels, and commitment to communities near and far. The next time you’re shooting through Hillsdale, you’ll want to slow down and enjoy the hard work of the big-hearted duo.

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Absent For Too Long, Opera Returns To The Berkshires

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With world-class theater and music blanketing our region, it’s about time opera has joined the panoply of cultural arts offerings. And the nascent Berkshire Opera Festival looks to be worth the wait. The 2016 inaugural season launches with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. For three nights, audiences will be enraptured by Puccini’s soaring melodies and the heart-rending story of Cio-Cio San. The company is lead by an impressive duo of co-founders, but it’s largely staffed by artists of all types right from our neck of the woods. Read on to find out who among us is making the magic on and off stage.

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A surprise awaits inside this corn muffin. Cut it in half and marvel at the sunny yellow orb inside. The egg makes the muffin a perfect all-in-one breakfast. Audrey Leary of Blackberry River Baking Co. shows us how to make these muffins that are enhanced with browned butter, sour cream, and whatever savory spice or cheese you want to put on top.

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It was a big week for Great Barrington, as Berkshire South Regional Community Center honored a local hero – community leader, patron and volunteer Robin McGraw; the Modern Treasure Chests jewelry box exhibit opened at McTeigue & McClelland; and supporters bowled at Cove Lanes to raise money for the new Berkshire Baby Box.

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The two young artists who have taken over a cozy old diner in Hudson, N.Y. have combined their time spent south of the border and their love for food and art to create a tropically inspired menu and environment. Pushing out ceviche, whole fried fish and fresh smoothies, Oasis is full of life, and a welcome addition to the food scene.

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You and nature will be one this week, as we focus on homes made of stone that boast spring-fed ponds, far-reaching views and lots of privacy. Whether you fancy a Dutch stone house built in Stockport in 1789 or a 2014 Cornwall model with echoes of a European manor, these picturesque palaces give their expansive acres a charming, storybook touch normally found only in fairytales.

[Read More]

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Our mouths are already watering for Grillsdale 2016, which will take place at Roeliff Jansen Park in Hillsdale, New York this Saturday, Aug. 27. The friendly food competition will be a master chef-studded event, but guests will also get to judge the pork belly tacos, Mexican sliders and street corn, grilled veggies and bahn mi, so purchase your tickets now and don’t forget to bring your appetite.

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Melvin Collins is open about his past. Four years ago, he was a drug dealer and addict. Now he’s a resident and homeowner in the Gordon H. Mansfield Veterans Community, part of the housing cooperative provided by Soldier On in Pittsfield, which provides formerly homeless veterans with safe and affordable homes. He works in the facility’s kitchen. “I changed my life up here,” he says.

[Read More]

Instant Intelligence

For even more information about upcoming events, check out our Dining, Music & Dance, Visual Arts, Shopping, Books, Theater, Movies, Kids, and Save the Date sections. Please submit your own event to

Now—August 28, Rhinebeck Dutchess County Fair Experience thousands of farm animals, agricultural exhibits and horticultural displays, as well as entertainment including headliner Third Eye Blind. See website for schedule of events.

August 26, North Adams Cabaret Train Ride Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum’s Hoosac Valley Service presents a one-hour train ride featuring live music by piano and voice duo Samantha Talora & Ron Ramsay. Bring your own food & beverages to enjoy on the trip. 6:30 p.m.

August 27, Hillsdale Hillsdale ArtsWalk This free, family-friendly event in the town center will include 50+ local artists & artisans exhibiting indoors & under tents, plus live music & street food. Come early for the farmers market and stay late for Grillsdale. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 27, North Egremont Blue Rider Stables Annual Fun Day: pony and hay rides, horse riding and vaulting demonstrations, children’s games, silent auction and entertainment including the Berkshire Ukulele Band. French Park, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

August 27, Lanesborough Ramblewild End of Summer Bash to benefit Feronia Forward, a mission to provide a year-round venue for children to learn the importance of sustainable forestry. Enjoy snacks, drinks and more. 3:30-7:30 p.m.

August 27, Ghent Omi Concert in The Fields: a unique concert of new global music from current Music Omi resident artists, presented outdoors in the sculpture park. 5 p.m.

August 27, Hudson Hudson Home Mexican Fiesta: author and decorator Annie Kelly and her husband, photographer Tim Street-Porter, will sign copies of their new book, Casa Mexico. Guests will enjoy antojitos (“little cravings”) and a tequila mezcal tasting. 6-8 p.m.

August 27, Hillsdale Grillsdale In this evening of local food, libations & live music, talented regional chefs will compete in a friendly competition to showcase their grill skills & the quality of the meat & produce from regional farms. Roe-Jan Park, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

August 27, Becket Jacob’s Pillow Festival Finale Dance the night away at the ultimate Pillow party featuring closing weekend performances, tasty treats, an epic dance party with DJ BFG and more.

Aug. 27 & 30 & Sept. 2, Pittsfield Berkshire Opera Festival The inaugural season launches with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the story of a young geisha who has just married an American naval officer, who then returns to America to marry another woman. Colonial Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

August 28, Washington Washington Green The Centennial Celebration of the Sister Susies Allied Market will recreate this historical event with a farmers’ market, a concert of WWI-era music, a pie-eating contest, raffles & games. Period costumes encouraged. 11 a.m.—3 p.m.

August 28, Washington Sunday with Linda Join Linda Allard for a leisurely lunch by top chefs to support New Milford VNA & Hospice. Chefs include those from The Pantry, Community Table, Secret Ingredients, Mayflower Grace & others. High Meadows, 1-4 p.m.

August 28, Pittsfield Temple Anshe Amunim The annual Feigenbaum Lecture speaker will be Howard Dean, former VT governor & DNC chairman, who will discuss “Election 2016: Which Path Will America Choose?,” an insider’s look at the presidency, House & Senate. 7:30 p.m.

August 31, Red Hook Red Hook Library The Read Local author series continues with Samantha Hunt, author of the critically acclaimed Mr. Splitfoot. Hunt will read from and sign copies of this dark and haunting coming-of-age story set in the Troy, N.Y. area. 6 p.m.

August 31—Sept. 5, Chatham Columbia County Fair Experience farm animals, agricultural exhibits, demolition derby and tractor contests, the Painted Pony Rodeo and live entertainment including headliner Lonestar. See website for schedule of events.

Sept. 1, Lenox Tanglewood A live taping of “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!,” NPR’s informative weekly hour-long quiz program that offers a fast-paced, irreverent look at the week’s news, hosted by Peter Sagal and score-keeper Bill Kurtis. Koussevitzky Music Shed, 8 p.m.

Sept. 2, Lenox Tanglewood Boston Pops perform with the B-52s, the band behind the dance-rock hits “Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho,” “Love Shack” and others. Koussevitzky Music Shed, 8 p.m.

Sept. 2—5, Spencertown Festival of Books Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s literary extravaganza features a giant used book sale; readings, signings & discussions; a teen short story contest & a kids’ program. Things kick off with an early buying cocktail party on Fri. from 6-8 p.m.

Sept. 3, Amenia Historic Smithfield Church Riley Mulherkar presents “In The Land of Oo-Bla-Dee: The World of Dizzy Gillespie,” a benefit jazz concert for Pine Plains Memorial Hall. 6 p.m.

Sept. 3 & 4, Columbia & Dutchess Counties Art Studio Views visit the private studios of 27 artists through a self-guided tour in Germantown, Tivoli, Red Hook, Rhinebeck & Hyde Park. Paintings, photography, ceramics and glasswork will be on display and for sale. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sept. 3 & 4, Falls Village Music Mountain On Sat., The Shanghai String Quartet performs Mendelssohn, Zhou Long & Brahms with Jonathan Yates on piano. 6:30 p.m. On Sun., they perform along with pianists Gilbert Kalish & Jonathan Yates in a benefit concert. 3 p.m.

Sept. 4, Germantown Columbia-Greene Garden Party Hermes Mallea & Carey Maloney host this year’s fundraiser for Alliance for Positive Health, which will feature gourmet samplings, live entertainment & a silent auction. 3-6 p.m.

Sept. 8, Annandale-on-Hudson Bard College Trisha Brown Dance Company returns for a work-in-progress performance that includes Geometry of Quiet and selections from Brown’s 40-year repertoire. Fisher Center, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 8—11, Hillsdale Oldtone Roots Music Festival Enjoy traditional mountain fiddling, bluegrass, hot swing, classic country, brass, cajun & contra music, plus kids’ activities, camping, dancing, hands-on instrument workshops, band contests, food & more. Cool Whisper Farm.

For even more information about upcoming events, check out our:
Dining Intelligence (Listings of Food and Drink Events & Restaurant Features)
Music & Dance Listings
Visual Arts Listings
Local Shopping Listings
Books Listings
Theater Listings
Local Movies Listings
Kids Calendar Listings
Save the Date Listings
Please submit your own event to